Italian/Albanian ancestry? We can help!

Please welcome Giuseppe ‘Baffa’ to our team. Giuseppe has a degree in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage. He has published many papers and books on various issues related to Arbëresh culture and tradition, which he knows very well.  In addition to being interested in Albanian culture, he is an arbëresh living in Santa Sofia d’Epiro, … Continue reading

The battle against epidemics in the 1800’s

With all the hype about today’s epidemic of the Coronavirus I couldn’t help rereading a book written and researched by the schoolchildren of Sora 10 years ago about the fight against epidemics in the 1800’s.  I have translated and extracted some of the more interesting information for your entertainment. The two big epidemics of the … Continue reading

Military Uniforms and History

Today I would like to direct you to a terrific website which is in English, and tells the story of the Italian military from 1861 when the Italian army was first formed to today. http://www.esercito.difesa.it/en/History/ It has stories and photos of the birth of the Italian Army and of major battles fought in Africa, Italy … Continue reading

Crolla family legacy

Jan’s mother was born in 1937 in England, more than 100 years after her Great Grandfather was born in Fontitune, a small hamlet outside the town of Picinisco.  Her daughter, who is the family genealogist, wanted to walk the streets of her ancestors and convinced her mother and three sisters to accompany her on this … Continue reading

Finding Foglio Matricolare – Italian Military Records

Finding the military service record for an ancestor can be a great source of satisfaction……or not. Seeing your ancestor labelled as a ‘deserter’ can be a shock but often it just means that they did not return to Italy when called for military service from whichever country they had emigrated to.  Refusing to serve meant … Continue reading

Inheriting property in Italy- on occasion….meglio di no!

I am occasionally asked about property that immigrant families left behind that may still be ‘inheritable’ by the emigrant descendants. I’d like to tell you this story…. Yesterday at a family luncheon the talk turned to property taxes and Saverio began to talk about his high property taxes.  Today your principal residence is tax-free but … Continue reading

Sharon’s search for an explanation?

When Sharon started researching her ancestral line in a small town in Abruzzo she was a little shocked at the apparent comportment of her ancestors.  She remarked ‘the women in my family certainly got around!’ After studying the records she found I saw a potentially different story.  It all began with Maria Proietta who gave … Continue reading

A Foundling or a Love Child?

In researching our genealogy it’s hard to accept that our ancestor was a foundling.  A ‘throw away’, a child whose mother abandoned him.  We grasp at straws to discover that he was loved and cherished.  We don’t really want to believe he was truly alone. Wendy was sure her Grandfather was the secret love child … Continue reading

Local newspapers, obituaries and local history books

Rick asked me to check local newspapers as part of my search for his family history, for stories about the family and obituaries.  If only…… Even today, in the small towns in Italy you will not find a local newspaper.  Maybe a page in the regional edition of the national newspaper but nothing that comes … Continue reading

Search of the week

Eric contacted me with a ‘brick wall’. He was applying for Italian citizenship and had collected all the records he needed, and had already corrected several of them to meet the Consulate’s standards.  One record though, was a real puzzle.  His Grandfather Gioacchino was a foundling born in Palermo, although his entry record indicated he … Continue reading